Saturday, November 28, 2015

Potential Rookie Impacts in 2016

Many people including myself have referred to the 2015 season as the Year of the Rookie. Now in years past there have been the Year of the Pitcher and the year of the this and the year of the that but the Yankees tend to not get involved in many of these. New York was very much involved with the Year of the Rookie as they set the Major League record for the team with the most Major League debut's in 2015(18). Most notably the Yankees watched as their development, hard work and patience was rewarded by Luis Severino, Greg Bird and others. What Yankees farm hands could potentially make their impact in 2016?

Believe it or not Bryan Mitchell is still considered to be a rookie so like I have each of the past two offseasons I will start with him. Mitchell has not made me look like I know very much about baseball last year as I have predicted him to be the breakout player for the team in each of the past two years. You know what? Third time is the charm. Mitchell is 24 years old and has struggled with his command due to an insane amount of movement on all of his pitches. Whether the line drive to the face had much to do with his confidence or not last season, and coming from a person who has been hit in the face with a baseball in a game trust me when I say that it does, remains to be seen but I truly think he can put it behind him and finish his development in 2016.

Mitchell contains a mid-to-high 90's fastball with what is considered to be a plus curveball and a developing cutter. The time is now for the right-hander. It almost has to be. Prospect Fatigue will be setting in soon.

The Yankees need a right-handed power bat to balance out their lineup and unfortunately, without a bit of maneuvering by GM Brian Cashman, there doesn't look like there is a roster spot for an impact position player this season. Between Carlos Beltran, Jacoby Ellsbury and Brett Gardner an injury is going to happen and the clamoring for the Yankees top prospect, Aaron Judge, will begin.

Judge is a former first round draft pick in the 2013 draft and finished the season struggling a bit in Triple-A this season. Beltran did a fine job leading the Yankees offense in 2015 but his defense left much to be desired, Judge can give you that. Remember, Judge played center field a bit in Scranton to increase his versatility (or maybe it was his trade value at the time) and would be an immediate impact in right. He has a cannon for an arm and can mash at the plate. Judge won't win a job out of Spring Training, much like Greg Bird in 2015, but by mid-season you have to think if the Yankees need an outfielder or some DH help that Judge is coming, and coming fast. 

Ask me in a month and this opinion might change but right now Robert Refsnyder is your starting second baseman on Opening Day 2016. The Yankees seem like they are comfortable enough with a platoon of Refsnyder and Dustin Ackley to get by in 2016 and with a left-handed starting pitcher, Dallas Keuchel, on the mound on Opening Day Refsnyder likely gets the call.

Refsnyder had a down season in Scranton in 2015 hitting "just" .271 after posting an impressive .318 total in 2014 and his defense was once again on full display. As "bad" of a defender as Refsnyder is and as "down" as his bat has been that doesn't mean the Yankees should go out and sign a second base, a 2B like Daniel Murphy who Refsnyder has been compared to often as a rookie. Ask any scout about Murphy's bat and defense at 25-years old and compare it to Refsnyder's. Refsnyder has a comparable bat at their same age and is far better defensively than Murphy was. Refsnyder was drafted as an outfielder and moved to second base by the Yankees. He's still learning the position, patience is the key here.
Gary Sanchez is the final piece that could make an immediate impact in 2016. After John Ryan Murphy was traded to the Minnesota Twins the back up catcher job was left wide open for the Yankees and the rest of their roster. While immediately after the trade many handed the job to Sanchez but I don't see it going down like that, not after 35 games in Triple-A in his career, but Sanchez, like Judge, should be ready by mid-season.

Sanchez was having yet another Sanchez type season in Double-A hitting .270 with 12 home runs before an injury forced what was meant to be a temporary call-up to Triple-A. Sanchez made the most of the new opportunity hitting .294 with six home runs making it impossible to send him back down to Trenton. Sanchez made his MLB debut in 2015 and turned enough heads to warrant a trip to the Arizona Fall League with the Surprise Saguaros. Let this sink in. Sanchez is just 22-years old and hit 18 home runs. How much more progression and development does he have left? Plus he's right-handed, a huge need for the Yankees lineup.


  1. I think everyone here knows I have been a Brett fan from the first day I saw him play in Tampa (I think) back in 2006 (regardless what E.Schults said about him maybe being a 4th OF) and it is hard for me to have him traded. But the Team come first!
    I would rather have Ells traded but, that isn't going to happen.
    For sure, Cashman, make it a good trade if he must go. He is now the last of the "Kiddy Korp"...all the rest have gone on to other teams.

  2. And the good news for the Yankees in Cashman is finally getting some useful pieces back in return in those trades

  3. Im still going to say Cashman won't be able to trade Gardner because he will get fleeced on the return.

  4. Gardner, straight up, will bring nothing special in a return. Makes sense ?

    Gardner in a package, will bring a significantly different return. So many of this young Yankee
    crop will be blocked for years, by now-ready players that can be placed in now.

    Don't forget that three team trades ( ie:Gregorius ) are a great option.

    I say clean house, of what you can this year. And, finish it off after seasons end.

    1. Cashman is always working the three team trade. He's done it quite often so no reason to think he won't do it again. See the Curtis Granderson trade, the Didi trade and a slew of others.

    2. Cashman is still inept in my mind and to have Ken Davidoff say he is in the top five show's you both have no clue. The Red Sox get stronger and the Yanks hold onto their money like they can't afford anything. Eat some contracts Hal and let's bring the youth into play.

    3. Definitely with you on the eating of contracts. Especially ones that expire after this season. Carlos Beltran was our best hitter not named Teix and ARod though and his is the most obvious one to eat besides CC's.

  5. I would eat Tex's and CC and Betran as all three will be hurt during the course of the year and won't be any good to the Yanks away. The coupon clipper is just to cheap

    1. Tex, CC and Beltran=$88,125,000, that's a lot of money but, I wonder how much TAX money it would save us?

    2. if Teix is going to give us 30+ home runs again I'd rather see that to fruition then eat his salary. Same for Beltran and a decent average and RBI total. If they show early on they aren't going to cut it then by midseason eat the salary, by all means.

      I don't want to make a deal just for the sake of it. You know? CC has had enough of a chance, I'd be okay with eating his salary today.

      And Reed we would still be on the hook for those salaries, they are guaranteed, so we wouldn't save a dime on tax money. Insurance wouldn't even save us on these three moves.

    3. Well, that makes my last comment a little redundant...hey, what?
      I was afraid of that last line. Because you told me that once before and I forgot about it. Can I use old age for my forgetfulness? LOL

      As for dumping them during the season, I see where that could come in very handy...if there is no or very little production from them. Sounds good to me!


Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)